From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
Alhaji Sheikh Abdul Karim Badreendeen, a renowned Kumasi-based Islamic cleric, has wished Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, well as he clocks 19 years on April 26, 2018 since he assumed leadership of the Ashanti Kingdom. He said the 19 years of the occupancy of the Golden Stool by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has been characterised by exceptional and exemplary traditional and executive leadership.
Alhaji Badreendeen said the rate at which the Asantehene has demonstrated exemplary leadership calls for the conferment of a state award and recognition.
The Islamic scholar announced that Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who turns 68 on May 6, this year, has, since ascending the Golden Stool, settled most chieftaincy cases before the law courts upon succeeding his late uncle, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, in 1999.
He pointed to the settlement of the Old Tafo chieftaincy disputes, Adonten Stool of Manhyia, as well Amakom and Kaasi chieftaincy affairs, to buttress his point. The Islamic cleric also pointed to the instrumentality of the Ashanti King securing a World Bank facility to provide boreholes to vulnerable communities across the country, describing this feat as historical.
Sheikh Karim Badreendeen also pointed to the institution of the landmark Otumfuo Education Fund, Otumfuo Charity Foundation, as well Otumfuo Teachers’ Award scheme, which he described as healthy achievements worthy of commendation because of the magnitude of impact on the Ghanaian society.
According to him, in the area of education, about 9,000 brilliant but needy students and the girl child have enjoyed the largesse of the Asantehene at the basic, secondary and tertiary levels throughout the country, with infrastructural facilities such as modern schools with ICT centres, headteachers and teachers’ bungalows towards promoting education having been provided.
He said Otumfuo has instituted the annual Teachers Award to honour best teachers under the Otumfuo Education Fund, while his Health Fund has benefited many Ghanaians, particularly the aged.
Touching on the Asantehene’s outstanding innovations and excellence chalked in the education sector,
Sheikh Karim Badreendeen pointed out over 3,000 beneficiaries, including headmasters, headmistresses and teachers have received varieties of award schemes from the Otumfuo Teachers’ Award Scheme Secretariat.
It is also on record that the King also offered vast land for the Manhyia Government Hospital for the expansion of hospital facilities. The peace treaty the Asantehene initiated at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) before the 2012 General Elections – to ensure peaceful co-existence among the political parties in the country – was seen to have contributed immensely to the peace Ghana enjoyed and is still enjoying even in the new administration, headed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Sheikh Badreendeen also mentioned the peace process the King initiated in the Abudu and Andani royal stool gates affair, and said this achievement called for the nation’s highest award to be bestowed on the Asantehene.
He disclosed that the vital role played on resolving the Dagbon crisis to ensure peace among Adanis and Abudu’s, and by extension among the general Ghanaian populace, is commendable.
Alhaji Badreendeen said Otumfuo’s commitment in the fight against illegal mining (galamsey) accounts for the huge contributions to the socio-economic development of the country.
He said the University of Cape Coast had received its part of charity from the Asantehene, through setting up of a modern complex guest house facility. It is for these and many more that the Islamic scholar advocated that the Asantehene deserves a state honour for his statesmanship role in human development and pleaded with His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to consider honouring the Ashanti King with the highest order of the land.
Pix: Sheikh Karim Badreendeen